The newest member of the 767 family, the 767-400ER (extended range), has received its formal stamp of approval from Europe's Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA). The JAA Monday validated the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) type certification of the 767-400ER, and is expected shortly to validate FAA type design approval for 180-minute ETOPS (extended-range, twin-engine operations).
The FAA/JAA joint certification and ETOPS approval follow an extensive flight test program. These approvals formally recognize that the 767-400ER has - as expected - passed all the stringent regulatory requirements and is ready to enter passenger service.
"This is a significant acknowledgement of the 767-400ER's safety, reliability and performance," said John Quinlivan, 767 Program vice president and general manager. "The 767-400ER is a great airplane for the European market, where about a third of our current 767 customers are already located. This airplane will be a terrific addition to our customers' existing 767 families. With JAA validation, the stage is now set for European operation of the 767-400ER."
With the approval process complete, airlines soon can begin using the airplane for its intended purpose: to economically and efficiently fly passengers long distances in comfort unmatched by any airplane in its class.
The FAA certification, granted on July 20, provides an amended type certificate for the 767, as well as a production certificate - which authorizes Boeing to build the 767-400ER under the Boeing production certificate. The JAA has now validated the 767 type design certificate.
The 767-400ER embarked on its eight-month flight test program when it flew for the first time on Oct. 9, 1999 - with 767 chief pilot Buzz Nelson at the controls.
"This airplane has outstanding handling characteristics," Nelson said. "It is a dream to fly."
Three flight test airplanes completed 1,150 flight- and 1,200 ground-test hours to validate the design. Major test activities included:
- Aerodynamics: Measuring the airplane's performance during takeoff and landing, and its fuel consumption during cruise.
- Stability and control: Testing the airplane's flying qualities under varied conditions and weights.
- Auto flight controls: Verifying the autopilot, flight director, autothrottle and flight management system.
- Structures: Testing the structural dynamic response, including flutter, and verifying loads on the airframe.
- Systems: Checking avionics, electrical, air conditioning, brakes and all other systems.
"The 767-400ER has been superbly engineered and thoroughly tested. We're very pleased with its performance," said Dan Mooney, 767 chief engineer. "Compared to our original expectations, testing confirmed the airplane burns less fuel, needs less runway takeoff length, has better altitude capability and weighs less - all significant benefits to our customers."
The improved fuel consumption is attributed, in part, to the innovative new raked wing tips, unique to the 767-400ER.
Testing of the airplane was thorough and rigorous - and, on occasion, went to extremes to demonstrate the 767-400ER's capabilities. The airplane spent time in Alice Springs, Australia - one of the hottest places on earth - to test the environmental control system.
Boeing submitted more than 400 certification documents to the FAA, providing substantiation that the airplane complies with all applicable U.S. federal regulations.
Sized between the Boeing 767-300ER and the Boeing 777-200, the 767-400ER features a lengthened fuselage, aerodynamic improvements, increased takeoff weight capability and an all-new main landing gear. And, it has a new interior and modernized flight deck - both similar to the award-winning 777's - now the industry standard.
The 767-400ER is 21 feet (6.4 meters) longer than the 767-300, and provides approximately 15 percent more seats - accommodating 245 passengers in a three-class configuration and up to 375 in a high-density, single-class configuration. Every member of the versatile Boeing 767 family, which also includes the 767-200ER and 767-300ER, has lower operating costs per trip than any airplane in its class.
"As the most efficient airplane in its category, it gives our customers a tremendous competitive advantage," Quinlivan said, on board a 767-400ER in Farnborough, England, during the airplane's month-long world tour.
Launched in April 1997, the 767-400ER enters revenue service this summer with Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines. To see the airplane inside and out, and learn more about the 767-400ER - first new airplane model to enter service in the 21st century - visit the website at http://www.boeing.com/767tour.